Little Wood Boat Is Actually a Model of Modern Technology

©. Rapid Whale

You could do this without CNC routers and 3D printers, but it would be really hard.

It has long been a TreeHugger mantra that less is more, smaller is better. That's why we show so many tiny cars and tiny houses and tiny apartments. So naturally, we are going to love Josh Tulburg's tiny boat. There is a lot of TreeHugger goodness here:

on the water

© Rapid Whale It's electric, and small enough to be pushed by an inexpensive trolling motor.
It's wood, made from marine plywood with cork gaskets.
It's slow at 3.5 knots or 4MPH, which makes it hard to get into trouble.
It's 3D printed and laser cut flatpack kit which makes it cutting edge.
It's tiny and fits in the trunk of a little car.

On Instructibles, Josh explains how he built it on Solidworks and figured out the naval architecture:

I simulated the material and water-displacement in order to determine my vessel's center of gravity and center of buoyancy. The relationship between center of gravity, center of buoyancy, and hull shape is critical for determining (or estimating in my case) boat stability. I wasn't keen on designing an unstable boat, so I began tweaking my design as I went in order to make it more stable.
cable ties

© It's all held together with cable ties!

But he also modeled it and tested it:

I laser cut a 1:2.2 scale model to test in my friend's hot tub (hot tub jets make for an awesome choppy-water simulation by the way). I loaded up the scale model with weights to match.
Rapid whale 3D printers

© Rapid whale 3D printers

What I really love about this is how Josh uses such modern technologies are used to make an old-fashioned little boat; he has his 3D printers for the solid parts,

Rapid Whale laser Cutter

© Rapid Whale laser Cutter

...And a big CO2 laser cutter for the plywood. One could have built this boat twenty years ago, but it would have been a lot harder. You don't look at this funny little boat and think that it is such a high tech product.

Josh in the boat

© Josh in the boat

You can buy a hull-kit, or buy the plans and build it yourself. But they are not plans in the sense that I knew them years ago; Josh tells TreeHugger that they are "the cut profiles for all the various parts. I send them as vector format (PDF and DXF) so that they can either be large-format printed (for traditional power-tool cutting) or sent to someone with a CNC machine (for fancy laser/router cutting). It takes 3 full-sheets (4'x8') of plywood to make each boat."

This is what we have been calling Downloadable Deisgn, which I thought would be totally commonplace by now. See it all at Rapid Whale.